Sarah Kargbo-Hill, Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Assistant Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

4168 Biological Sciences Building


Dr. Kargbo-Hill joined the MCDB department in January 2024. She was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Michael Ward's lab, where she used human iPSC-derived neurons to study neurodegenerative disease-linked proteins, including TDP-43. She earned her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Yale University, working in the lab of Dr. Daniel Colón-Ramos to study presynaptic development and autophagy in C. elegans neurons. She studied microtubule polarity in Drosophila neurons as an undergraduate student at Penn State University in Dr. Melissa Rolls’ lab.

Areas of Interest

The Kargbo-Hill lab seeks to understand how neurons can survive for the lifetime of an organism without the benefit of renewal by cell division. One key to this longevity is their ability to adapt in conditions of stress or aging. We are interested in how neurons use epigenomic and transcriptomic mechanisms to preserve function and initiate new gene expression programs in response to environmental changes. In particular, the lab focuses on two mechanisms of neuronal gene regulation – RNA splicing and DNA methylation. We are interested in how these processes are specialized in neurons and how they become altered in contexts of aging and disease. By understanding how neurons process and actualize change, we can gain insight into neuronal resilience and vulnerability in neurodegenerative disease.


  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • B.S., Penn State University

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Brown, AL*, Wilkins, O*, Keuss, M* Hill, SE* et al. (2022). “TDP-43 loss and ALS-risk SNPs drive mis-splicing and depletion of UNC13A.” Nature 603 (7899):131-137. PMID: 35197628. Link
  • Wu, W*, Hill, SE*, Nathan, WJ* et al. (2021). “Neuronal enhancers are hotspots for DNA single-strand break repair.” Nature 593, 440–444. PMID: 33767446. Link
  • Hill, SE, Kauffman, K, Krout, M, Richmond, JE, Melia, T, Colón-Ramos, DA (2019). “Maturation and Clearance of Autophagosomes in Neurons Depends on a Specific Cysteine Protease Isoform, ATG-4.2.” Dev. Cell. 49(2):251-266.e8. PMID: 30880001. Link
  • Stavoe, AK*, Hill, SE*, Hall, DH, Colón-Ramos, DA (2016). “KIF1A/UNC-104 Transports ATG-9 to Regulate Neurodevelopment and Autophagy at Synapses.” Dev. Cell. 25;38(2):171-85. PMID: 27396362. Link

*Co-equal Contribution

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